Conservation Influencers

Species 360

Bloomington, MN, USA

Species360 (formerly known as International Species Inventory System or ISIS) was founded in 1974 by 55 Zoos in Europe and the United States. According to its website, its mission is to ‘facilitate international collaboration in the collection and sharing of knowledge on animals and their environments for zoos, aquariums and related conservation organizations’. It rebranded itself as Species360 in 2016, the same year as it welcomed its 1,000th member: totaling zoos, aquariums, educational institutions and regional associations in 90 countries on six continents.

Species360’s Conservation Science Alliance, led by its Director of Science Dalia Conde, conducts population and environmental impact research. Its Zoological Information Management System (ZIMS) determines best practices in caring for individual and groups of species managed by Species360’s membership. 

On behalf of CITES, Species 360 manages the Turtle and Tortoise Demographic Trade Database, which compiles life-history data for 194 CITES-listed turtles and tortoises. Species 360 also manages CITES’ Asian Big Cats in Captivity Database and helps CITES track whether protected species were actually bred in captivity or illegally obtained in the wild.

Species360 is an International Champion of the Global Initiative to End Wildlife Crime. Since 2020, Species360 has been trying to persuade CITES to amend its Convention to include, in its words, ‘public and animal health criteria into its decision making, thereby taking a One Health approach to wildlife trade’. 


Chief Executive Officer Jim Guenter heads a senior management team of six other staff. 


This organization is governed by its members, and some external trustees. They are appointed either in an election system overseen by its Board of Trustees or, in the case of member associations, such as Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), they have a permanent seat on the Board.


According to one report, Species360’s estimated annual revenue is currently USD 3.3 million per year. 

About the directory

Conservation Influencers is a searchable directory of the animal activist, environmental and ecological lobby. It examines the history, mission, methodology and reputation of NGOs to assess their impact on the global conservation cause.


Franz Weber Foundation

From 1990 until 2015, Franz Weber Foundation (FFW) managed the Fazao-Malfakassa National Park in Togo, which was, according to an in-depth investigation by Duke University, ‘established by forcing the local communities off their land and without taking into consideration their point of view’. That same study cited convincing evidence from reports published in 1990, confirming that competition for land use was already ‘creating conflict between the local communities and park managers’. In 2015 Togo refused to renew FFW’s contract because, the report says, ‘local communities were still excluded from the management of the natural resources of their land’ and FFW had ‘failed to fulfil its contract’. Franz Weber Foundation plays a major role within CITES because it funds and manages from Switzerland the African Elephant Coalition (AEC), which represents 32 African range states, some of which have barely any elephants and others none at all. Contrary to the wishes of the range states in Southern Africa, which manage most of the world’s wild elephant populations, the AEC at CITES’ CoPs repeatedly tables proposals to put all of the world’s elephants in appendix I. And the AEC uses its voting power to keep in place prohibitions on ivory sales and all other trade in elephant-related derivatives, including skins and hair, which Southern African nations wish to legalise.